by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
The American M113 Armored Personnel Carrier became one of the most successful Cold War vehicles in the world with operators numbering over sixty nations and production reaching over 80,000 units. The vehicle made its way into operational service during 1960 and served with American and Australian forces during the Vietnam War (1955-1975). From there, its global reach was such that the M113 went on to see combat actions in the Yom Kipper War (1973), the Invasion of Panama (1989-1990), the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the Persian Gulf War (1991), the War in Kosovo (1998-1999), and the recent wars in Afghanistan (2001-Present) and Iraq (2003 - 2011) while also being featured in less publicized conflicts. The chassis has also proven hugely adaptable and has served as the basis for a plethora of other related battlefield variants. Despite its 1950s-era design, the M113 remains a frontline participant for many nations today.
M113 is the most widely produced and utilized APC of the Western World and many model manufacturers offer numerous kits of the subject and its variants in different scales. The conversions, detail sets and all the aftermarket goodies produced for these kits are even more abundant.
I have several M113 kits and conversions in my stash, so I was really looking forward to this particular WWP title. Owning quite a few WWP books in my library, I knew I could expect nothing but the best and most detailed reference images on the subject. Here are the basic facts on the book:
Title: M113 in Detail (Early M113 A1/A2 ACAV, Dozer, Fitter and Zelda)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Author: František Kořán
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $37 (29€)
Aimed at both modelers and vehicle enthusiasts alike, the book is printed on high-quality paper and features 299 color photographs and 70 manual drawings. The images are large and clear, showing the general view of the vehicle and its variants, but also vehicle details from the exterior and the interior. The captions are short and concise, providing a description for all the peculiarities shown on the images.
The book consists of 11 chapters, color-coded on page edges for easier navigation:
• Introduction (002-003)
• M113 ACAV Replicas (004-017)
• M113 A1/A2 Exterior (018-041)
• Engine Compartment (042-053)
• Troop Carrier Interior (054-071)
• Wireless Equipment (072-073)
• M113 Fitter Crane (074-089)
• M113 Dozer Blade (090-095)
• IDF Early Zelda (096-105)
• Lebanese M113 ACAV (106-107)
• Greek M113 (108)
The book opens with a short Introduction, providing a brief overview of the development and history of the M113 and it’s use in Vietnam and Yom Kippur wars. The next chapter deals with M113 ACAV Replicas, displaying a vehicle from Fort Knox museum and several Vietnam War replicas from armor preservation societies and re-enactment groups. All the ACAV specific details are covered in detail, especially the turret armor and side M60 gun ports. The M113 A1/A2 Exterior chapter starts with a technical manual drawings of A1 and A2 variants, continuing with a very detailed walk around. Headlamp configuration, front wave breaker, rear hull and ramp details, hull roof (radiator grille, air intake, main roof hatch, commander’s cupola with M2 .50 cal mount, etc.), suspension details and T130 tracks and wheels… you name it, it’s there. The Engine Compartment chapter follows, providing detailed images and schematics of the Detroit Diesel 6V53 engine. These 12 pages deliver a wealth of information for all those interested in displaying their model with the engine hatch open. Next up is the Troop Compartment Interior. This chapter offers detailed view of the driver’s compartment (hatch, seat, dashboard, steering handles, gearbox lever) and troop compartment (hull roof details, battery bay, heater, fuel tank, rear ramp mechanism). This chapter spans over 18 pages and provides superb coverage of all the M113 interior details. Wireless Equipment chapter is short, but offers a really nice overview of the wireless kit of an early M113 A1/A2 including RT-524/VRC and R-442/VRC, as well as AM-1780 and crew control box. The first vehicle variant shown in this title is M113 Fitter Crane, a variant used in Vietnam by the Australian Army and adopted by the IDF. The chapter provides the images of the fitter hull top and crane details, hydraulics, winch and arm. The fitter interior is displayed as well, specifically noting the crane power and controls. M113 Dozer Blade is next, with 6 pages covering the details of the dozer blade. Fans of the IDF armor will enjoy the IDF Early Zelda chapter. It depicts the vehicle from Latrun tank museum, showing the exterior with all the IDF specific details. Two very short chapters on Lebanese M113 ACAV, delivering photos from the 1970s, and Greek M113, photographed during military parade, close the book.
Finally, going through the book it is obvious the aim of this title was not to give a complete history of the M113 and its variants, but to provide images and information regarding the variants used during the Vietnam War by the US and Australian armies plus the first versions used by the IDF.
I’m very passionate about gathering reference images of the subject I’m modeling. One of the best aspects of the modeling process for me is adding extra details and scratchbuilding bits and pieces in order to take my model to a next level, getting as close to the real thing as possible. That being said, I really wish I had this book back when I was modeling the M113.
Early M113 in Detail (G060) from Wings & Wheels Publications is an absolutely amazing reference book. It is printed on a high-quality paper, jam-packed with large images and technical drawings of the early M113 variants which offer a general view of these vehicles but also deliver all the tiniest vehicle exterior and interior details from various angles. Although primarily a photo book, the information given in the text provides a very engaging read, making the title an impressive symbiosis of high-quality photos and concise but extremely interesting info on the vehicle.
Well done WWP!